Lyndsey and I have slowly been putting together our new aquaponics garden system. Aquaponics is is the symbiotic cultivation of plants and aquatic animals in a recirculating environment. Fish waste from the pond/tank accumulates in water as a by-product of keeping them in a closed system. The dirty water becomes high in plant nutrients but in return is bad on the fish.
The plants are grown above the tank in a hydroponic system that gets filled up a few times a day enabling the plants to utilize the nutrient-rich water. The plants in return take up the nutrients, reducing or eliminating the water’s toxicity for the fish like a tank filter.
The water, now clean, is returned to the tank and the cycle continues. Aquaponic systems do not discharge or exchange water. The systems rely on the relationship between the fish and the plants to maintain the environment. Water is only added to replace water loss from absorption by the plants, evaporation into the air, or the removal of biomass from the system.
We are very excited about our Aquaponic garden pond. In the garden we have tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, tomotillo, basil and mint; and in the pond we have twelve small goldfish, three big goldfish from our fish tank , three Koi and handful of tadpoles of the tree-frog and leopard-frog family. This weekend we are going to pick up some Tilapia that we are going to start raising in the pond. In three months they will be big enough to put on the dinner plate with the vegetables that they helped grow. Yum!
Photo Courtesy of backyardaquaponics.com